Tag Archives: foreign

A Very Long Engagement = Un long dimanche de fiançailles

A Very Long Engagement = Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004) R
This French movie based on a novel of the same name is the troubling, poignant and often darkly humorous story of Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) as she searches for the truth about her fiancé during WWI. Was he the coward he was labeled? Five men, including her fiancé, were condemned to death for shooting themselves to escape the front lines. Did he survive an almost sure death in the no man’s land between the French and German lines?

In French with English subtitles.

The Curse of the Golden Flower = Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia

The Curse of the Golden Flower = Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia (2006) R
Set in the 10th century Tang dynasty, this film is as dark and full of intrigue as a Shakespearean tragedy. The Empress is a beautiful, strong willed woman who is held virtually captive by the Emperor. For ten years, every two hours she must drink a medicinal tea at the Emperor’s insistence. When the Emperor discovers the liaison between the Empress and her stepson Prince Wan, he begins to add a poison to the tea. The Empress plots with her middle son to overthrow the Emperor. Director Yimou Zhang’s elaborate and breathtaking setting and the ornate costumes are a thin veneer that covers the corruption of the imperial family.

In Chinese or English with English or Spanish subtitles.

Visit the movie’s website to watch trailers and featurettes.

Mostly Martha = Bella Martha

Mostly Martha = Bella Martha (2001) PG
Martha is the chef who obsesses over each dish before it leaves the kitchen. When her sister suddenly dies, Martha adopts Lina, her eight-year-old niece and gets unexpected help from Mario, Martha’s hunky new sous chef who is as carefree as Martha is cautious! Loved the musical score.

This film was re-made in the US with the title No Reservations (2007), starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson and Jenny Wade.

In German with English subtitles.

The Scent of Green Papaya = Mùi du du xanh

The Scent of Green Papaya = Mùi du du xanh (1993)
This is a beautiful film set in 1950s Vietnam. It is a simple story of servant girl Mui’s life and love, but its real appeal is the sensuous imagery and elegant camera work that make it a work of art. The film won the Caméra d’Or prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival and was shortlisted for the 1993 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

In Vietnamese with English subtitles.

Children of Heaven = Bacheha-Ye Aseman

Children of Heaven = Bacheha-Ye Aseman (1997) PG
When Ali loses his sister Zahra’s only pair of shoes, he’s afraid to tell his impoverished parents. Ali’s decision to share his tattered sneakers with Zahra creates some humorous and poignant situations for the children. Director Majid Majidi uses the children’s dilemma to gently illustrate the vast economic disparities in Iranian society.

For other reviews, visit Variety, the New York Times, or Roger Ebert’s website.

In Farsi with English subtitles.